Events — 13 August 2012
The International Food Truck and Beer Festival Storms the Seaport

Blog: International Food Truck and Beer Festival

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Underneath the shadows of the permanently anchored ships nearby, Sunday’s day long “International Food Truck and Beer Festival” was stationed downtown at Manhattan’s South Street Seaport. The event would feature a cavalcade of distinctive mobile food options, all prepared on wheels, parked around the seaport’s entrance. And with a multitude of different beers to wash all of the tastes down, there was no shortage of pairings to sample.

For locals, the Seaport boasts all of the trappings of a tourist destination. From its reportedly middle of the road dining options nearby to a full-on multi-level shopping mall, the area is second only to Times Square and perhaps Central Park as an utter annoyance for most of us. That is of course, until you have a reason to make the trek downtown and remember that the Seaport is part of what makes New York City such an incredible place to live. With waterfront views of Brooklyn, the center of commerce often houses a good deal of people, but it also is just a fun place to bum around a bit. And with a food tasting event hosted by the folks at iadventure.com and some good weather to boot, the day was as good a reason as any to jump aboard the 4 train and head down.

The Festival was run a bit differently than most as vouchers were sold in advance for each beer tasting. Upon arrival, guests were given their ticket vouchers (1 per beer) and in some instances, food truck tastes- however, it should be noted these food vouchers were used for diminutive, often less than stellar samples from each truck. Phil’s Steaks, for instance, was cooking up some outstanding looking cheese steaks priced at $10-$12 each, but their food truck sample was a bland pretzel served cold, which I would liken to a dinner roll. That said, trucks like Schnitzel & Things’ “Sweet Potato Salad with Chicken Schnitzel” and Eddie’s Pizza’s “Plain Slice” were bite sized, but were notably tasty.

For those of us without food vouchers, all of the trucks and stands were slinging their fare for cash as well. The lengthiest line of the day belonged to Teriyaki Balls, a staple at many local events. But their doughy balls stuffed with pork and shrimp and topped with sliced almonds and a sweet teriyaki glaze were the talk of the entire afternoon. The spheres were soft and savory and well worth the fifteen minute wait with other hungry patrons.

Part of the fun of these types of events is the ability to taste different dishes from spots that we’ve never heard of previously. Hands down, the best sample that we noshed on all day was from Takumi Taco. Their sashimi grade, spicy tuna taco was bursting with flavor- from the mixing of avocado and fresh jicama and cucumber, to the creamy chipotle mayo and crunchy taco shell. And at just $6, the slightly larger taco was a good value for its size. Also worthy of praise was the NYC Healthy Bites stand, who prepares organic and natural style hot dogs for eaters to customize. We opted for their “Diablo Dog,” a chicken sausage covered with diced tomatoes, onions, cheese, and a spicy cilantro sauce, and an “Alamo Dog,” served with tomatoes and cucumbers, a chipotle sauce and some green onions. The handheld hot dog meat was a bit on the chewy side, but the collection of flavors was right on the money as each sauce paired well with the fresh vegetables and salty dogs.

With support from Greatbrewers.com, the selection of beers for the event was vast and were very drinkable beers, ideal for repeat visits on a humid August afternoon. We returned time and again for pours of Sierra Nevada Summerfest, Magic Hat #9, and Blue Point Toasted Lagers, each of which is distinctive for its own reason and still, tasty in its own right. It was also nice to see Butternuts Porkslap and Abita Purple Haze being served alongside the likes of Flying Dog In-Heat Wheat, representing the Pale Ale, Fruit Beer, and Hefeweizen styles and proving that organizers didn’t skimp on suds for attendees.

iadventure.com is making a habit of running tremendous events just like this one all over town, and with this year’s International Food Truck and Beer Festival now in the books, it’s on to the next one. From interactive instructional events featuring pasta making and wine tasting to walking tours around Manhattan, iadventure.com is striving to show you a part of New York that you may have forgotten or one that you never truly appreciated. That’s how we felt in returning to the Seaport for a fun filled day of eating and drinking, and boy, were we glad we came.

- Jane Van Arsdale

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